The smiles of the bathers fade as they leave the water,
And the lover feels sadness fall as it ends, as he leaves his love.
The scholar, closing his book as the midnight clock strikes, is hollow
and old:
The pilot’s relief on landing is no release.
These perfect and private things, walling us in, have imperfect and
public endings–
Water and wind and flight, remembered words and the act of love
Are but interruptions. And the world, like a beast, impatient and
quick,
Waits only for those who are dead. No death for you. You are
involved.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Weldon Kees's poem The Smiles Of The Bathers

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